We watched “Capital” on Netflix last night. It’s based on French economist, Thomas Piketty’s best selling book.
It was rich with images and video from the historical archives of the past two centuries. Much of it, from my lifetime, the 50’s through today. Of course, there were also images from before my lifetime, such as Nazi Germany and other wars, strikes, and living conditions of the industrial age and feudalism.
So, I woke up this morning thinking about some of those images. In particular, the video from “AD 2032″…xxxxx?, with the huddled, impoverished masses of future Los Angeles, waiting to get on a bus while the loading is being supervised by robots. The robots are similar to the ones you’ve seen in news reports of Boston Dynamics’ inventions, funded by our tax dollars, to not only intimidate and perhaps injure or kill our “enemies” but as we see in the film, us.
It occurs to me, that in my lifetime, we’ve seen so much dystopian media; movies, news, books, TV shows, etc. Much of it comes under the guise of science fiction – the fruitful imaginations that have produced Star Trek, Star Wars, Avatar, Handmaid’s Tale and of course 1984 and Brave New World.
And yet, our universities, military, technology and industrial manufacturers pour our tax dollars and investments into re-creating everything we’ve seen in science fiction – even though we see that it will be used against us. Who is “us”? The lower and middle classes according to Piketty. Why do they not invest the resources into a better future?
But, why has the media, and most importantly, Hollywood, bet all their treasure on producing a dystopian future? Are we being conditioned? Pre-programmed, as some have assserted, to accept this as inevitable? As desirable for some?
And, is there not a writer, a producer or a director, who has a utopian vision? Even for “entertainment” purposes? Is there no value in creating scenarios for a better world? And, if so, why not? Who is served by dystopia? Qui bono? Wall Street? FIRE industries? Military Intelligence? Foreign countries or entities wishing to destroy America?
What’s YOUR best guess?